This post originally appeared on Northeastern Global News. It was published by Beth Treffeisen.

Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, international business and strategy professor Luis Dau watched the developing nation grow, sparking his interest in how regulatory and pro-market reforms affect domestic and international business. 

Dau began his career at Northeastern University in 2010, where he continued his research on institutions and emerging market firms. 

However, in the past few years, Dau began to question why some countries succeeded while others did not. Why has the progress been uneven? Why has South Korea leapfrogged most of Latin America? Why have Asian countries faired better? 

Informal institutions include unwritten norms like a handshake to make a deal, doing favors for other family members, or greasing the red tape in government paperwork with bribes. 

Looking at the relationship between formal and informal institutions has received very little academic attention, says Dau. 

“I saw this as a challenge,” says Dau. “Therefore, I'm going to study this, and it's going to be harder to publish this work. But I encouraged not just myself but other scholars, too, to take this on.”

Dau is the recipient of the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award and Northeastern's interdisciplinary sabbatical program, which allows professors to take up to two semesters to teach and research at a different college within the university system. 

Read more at Northeastern Global News